Critic’s Notebook

Trend Report: What Chefs Really Think of Foam, Food Trucks, and Foodies

For our Best Restaurants issue we asked the chefs and they answered. Boy did they answer.

By Kathryn Robinson October 31, 2011

What's more old-school than communal dining? Oh yeah, communal dining on a whole roasted pig.

The food photos in our Best Restaurants issue will make you salivate—but our feature entitled Chefs Bite Back may be even more delish.

We asked the city’s finest chefs for their uncensored, anonymous opinions of their competitors, their customers (that’s you, bub), the critics (uh—that would be me), and more—including the biggest culinary trends afoot this moment.

What they like? Farm-to-table dining. Shared plates/small plates. Molecular cuisine (er…in a telling tie with moving away from molecular cuisine." Ha.) What they loathe? Let’s just take their comments straight-up, shall we?

• “I think Happy Hour is the worst thing for our industry.”
• “Cocktails with bacon.”
• “The food truck thing.”
• “Anything to do with foam.”
• “Cheap-at-all-costs: It limits how we can treat our employees.”
• “Communal tables. I will never eat at one.”
•“The absolute worst trend is Groupon-style vouchers: They train people to expect something for nothing.”
• “Chefs who open so many restaurants they can’t focus on one in particular.”
• “Deification of chefs.”
• “‘I’m a foodie’ has to be one of the most annoying things I’ve ever heard in my life.”
• “Pork belly is played out. I mean, I have it on my menu right now but I think it’s definitely past its prime.”

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